Facebook: A Story Of An Improbable Company
THE WAY TO WIN – New York magazine cover, “ZUCK: How the brat tycoon became an improbably brilliant CEO,” by Henry Blodget: “When early mistakes risked an employee mutiny, Zuckerberg knuckled down and learned how to lead. He made himself the pupil of some of the best bosses in business but had the maturity never to let outsiders sway his overall vision. He got adept at hiring the right people, and, more important, firing senior employees whom the company had outgrown. … All great consumer-technology products share two attributes, which is that they are cool and easy to use. … Zuckerberg … didn’t overbuild Facebook, packing it so full of features that people couldn’t figure out how to use it. He made ‘uptime’ a huge early priority, only rolling out Facebook to new schools when he was certain that the company’s servers and software could handle the traffic load. … Friendster grew so fast that its infrastructure got swamped: People wanted to log on, but they couldn’t. A year later, when Friendster finally fixed the problem, its U.S. users were gone.
“Many promising tech companies … worry too much about ‘making money.’ … In a market where speed is critical, venture-capital funding allows young companies to move faster than they could if they had to rely only on revenues to fund product development. Entrepreneurs who understand that tend to stick around to make plenty of money later.” http://bit.ly/Ke9aRJ
–IF YOU READ ONLY ONE PARAGRAPH: WHY FACEBOOK WILL GET EVEN MORE DOMINANT – New York mag sidebar by Paul Ford: “When you go to Spotify, or comment on many big websites, or rate a movie on Netflix, you are usually given the option to connect with your Facebook I.D. … If you had a huge pile of data about websites and services that might pose a competitive threat and billions of dollars in cash at hand, what would you do? Right: You’d buy Instagram. And you’d be able to make a very informed decision without consulting anyone … Facebook has an extraordinary window into the activities of other up-and-coming social networks and other competitors. … With its remarkable war chest, it can endeavor to buy even more of our time and data than it owns today.” http://bit.ly/IQBYSX
–“Facebook muscles up for tough lobby war,” by Michelle Quinn : “The social network, which launches its roadshow Monday in preparation for going public this month, sees privacy concerns in the U.S., Europe and worldwide as not just irksome side issues but central to the firm’s future growth. … Facebook is trying to be proactive in Washington … Washington Post Co. Chairman Don Graham and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles sit on the company’s board of directors. The company’s policy team members were recruited from both parties and have high-level experience in the administrative and legislative branches. … ‘We’re committed to explaining how our service works, the important actions we take to protect the more than 900 million people who use our service and the value of innovation to our economy,’ said Joel Kaplan, the head of Facebook’s Washington office. … In what is thought to be a first for a pre-IPO tech company, Facebook created a political action committee. … ‘Facebook made it clear from the beginning they wanted to help lawmakers make the most of the platform,’ said Don Seymour, digital communications director for Speaker John Boehner …
“Facebook’s careful, calculated approach to Washington stems primarily from [Sheryl] Sandberg, the firm’s chief operating officer and a former chief of staff at the Treasury Department. … Greg Maurer, director of public policy, was director of member services for Boehner. He works with House members. Myriah Jordan, a former Bush administration aide and counsel to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), is manager of public policy for Facebook and works … the Senate side. Marne Levine, vice president of global public policy, was chief of staff of the National Economic Council under Larry Summers. …
“Chris Herndon, manager of public policy, who worked with Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee and now works on the House side with Maurer; Louisa Terrell, director of public policy, who was a former White House special assistant to the president, will work on Facebook’s Senate team with Jordan. Another key player is Erin Egan, who became Facebook’s first chief privacy officer for policy. The communications team [was bolstered by] the hiring last year of Joe Lockhart,” Sarah Feinberg and Tucker Bounds. http://bit.ly/K5tiqO